• Jay McIntosh

Troutman debuts Web video

Some of its manufacturing techniques date back to the Shakers, but Troutman Chair has a new and more modern way of explaining them to retailers and consumers.

The specialist in rocking chairs and other seating has added a flash video (photos and voice) to its Web site at www.troutmanchairs.com to show and tell how its products are different.

President Champ Land said he thinks the $3,500 investment will pay off for the company and its dealers. Troutman Chair has always touted its construction quality as a key selling feature and the Web presentation drives the point home.

According to retail analysts, more consumers are doing research online before buying, so the Web is a good place to start communicating with them.

Troutman Chair isn't alone in telling its story in cyberspace. Many furniture manufacturers' sites have videos, photos or written histories and company descriptions, often with comments on design expertise and product quality.

But Troutman is unusual in its step-by-step rundown of how it builds its rocking chairs — all in 4 minutes, 23 seconds. The presentation goes over such techniques as contour shaping, swelled-joint construction and interlocking joints.

The company hired a marketing professional, Heather Watson of Statesville, N.C., to create the flash video and also to do the voiceover.

“It was an extremely large investment of time,” said Land. “Number one, you've got to get the pictures, and number two, you've got to verbalize it in a fashion that's not so long that somebody will get bored and leave you.”

The company opted for a flash presentation because it takes less time to load than a video, which is less frustrating for people who don't have a fast Internet connection, he said.

Since the presentation went live in mid-December, Land has gotten plenty of suggestions. Retailers want Land to add information about finish options and to emphasize that its products are American-made, which he'll probably do.

But “there hasn't been anybody that has disliked it,” he said.

Jay McIntoshJay McIntosh | News Editor, Furniture Today

Hi! I'm Jay McIntosh, news editor at Furniture/Today, and it's my job to keep track of the issues and events of the day. I'll use this space to offer comments or insights that I hope will bring something new to the table. I welcome your responses and suggestions.

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